Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Obesity Tied To Higher Risk Of Complications In Spinal Surgery

Date:
October 12, 2006
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
While obesity is tied to increasing risks for heart disease and diabetes, it also could bring more complications in spine surgery. A review of 332 cases of spinal surgery for routine degenerative conditions showed that 71 percent of patients were overweight, including 39 percent who were obese, numbers similar to the general population. Yet, there was a much higher incidence of complications, including blood clots, wound infections, heart problems and deep vein thrombosis.

While obesity is famously tied to increasing risks for heart disease and diabetes, now comes another reason to lose weight: being obese may contribute to a greater likelihood of complications in delicate spine surgery.

John Ratliff, M.D., assistant professor of neurological surgery and orthopedic surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, reviewed 332 cases of thoracic and lumbar spinal surgery for routine degenerative conditions that he performed from 2002 to 2005 at Rush University Medical Center and the Neurological and Orthopedic Institute of Chicago.

He found that 71 percent of his patients were overweight, including 39 percent who were obese -- numbers, he says, that are not all that much different than from what is expected in the general U.S. population. That was surprising, he says, because "it makes sense to think that more people who need back surgery might be more likely to be overweight and obese, though evidence in the medical literature is unclear. We don't really know if obesity contributes to back pain."

Yet, Dr. Ratliff found a much higher incidence of complications in extremely overweight and obese patients, including blood clots, wound infections, heart problems, and deep vein thrombosis. "We found that the incidence of complications related directly to the degree of obesity," he says. "Not only does being obese raise the risk of complications, but the greater the obesity, the more the risk of having something go wrong around the time of surgery." He presents his findings on October 9, 2006 at the 2006 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Non-obese patients have an approximately 14-percent complication rate. But for those who are obese with a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, the incidence goes up to 20 percent. A BMI of 40 raises the complication rate to 36 percent.

These results aren't surprising he says, but no one has shown it in the spine surgery medical literature and it has not been proven in other surgery fields, such as cardiac or general surgery.

"Obesity and back pain is a Catch-22," he says. "A person is obese, has back pain, and the doctor says to exercise. But because of the pain, he may not be able to exercise enough and continues to put on weight. Then the back hurts more and he becomes even more inactive."

"The take-home message is, when considering elective spine surgery, a person who is extremely overweight might consider waiting a little while and losing some weight," Dr. Ratliff says. An individual's recovery will likely be easier and less complicated as well, he notes.

"If you're obese and having spine surgery, you need to know your risk for complications is higher than a comparable patient who is not obese," he says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Obesity Tied To Higher Risk Of Complications In Spinal Surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061010022634.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2006, October 12). Obesity Tied To Higher Risk Of Complications In Spinal Surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061010022634.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Obesity Tied To Higher Risk Of Complications In Spinal Surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061010022634.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins